Cover image for Women in love
Women in love
Lawrence, D. H. (David Herbert), 1885-1930.
Publication Information:
London ; New York : Penguin Books, 1995.
Physical Description:
xxxi, 560 pages ; 23 cm.
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This continues the story of Ursula and Gudrun Brangwen begun in The Rainbow. The Brangwen sisters are now teachers in Beldover, a small town dominated by a colliery. Here Ursula falls in love with Birkin, while Gudrun has a tragic affair with Gerald, son of the colliery owner.

Author Notes

D(avid) H(erbert) Lawrence was born on September 11, 1885. His father was a coal miner and Lawrence grew up in a mining town in England. He always hated the mines, however, and frequently used them in his writing to represent both darkness and industrialism, which he despised because he felt it was scarring the English countryside.

Lawrence attended high school and college in Nottingham and, after graduation, became a school teacher in Croyden in 1908. Although his first two novels had been unsuccessful, he turned to writing full time when a serious illness forced him to stop teaching. Lawrence spent much of his adult life abroad in Europe, particularly Italy, where he wrote some of his most significant and most controversial novels, including Sons and Lovers and Lady Chatterly's Lover. Lawrence and his wife, Frieda, who had left her first husband and her children to live with him, spent several years touring Europe and also lived in New Mexico for a time.

Lawrence had been a frail child, and he suffered much of his life from tuberculosis. Eventually, he retired to a sanitorium in Nice, France. He died in France in 1930, at age 44. In his relatively short life, he produced more than 50 volumes of short stories, poems, plays, essays, travel journals, and letters, in addition to the novels for which he is best known.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

The published editions of Women in Love , probably Lawrence's greatest novel, have always been remarkably corrupt due to a lengthy, complex process of revision and transcription, a threatened libel suit, and numerous unauthorized bowdlerizations. The editors of this new Cambridge Edition have labored scrupulously to produce an authoritative text. What emerges, if not dramatically different, is fresher and more immediate. The introduction provides a valuable history of the novel's composition, revision, publication, and reception, and though the elaborate textual apparatus is strictly for advanced students of bibliography, the notes are splendid. Lawrence's 1919 Foreword and two early discarded chapters are also included. The recovery of a modern classic. Keith Cushman, Univ. of North Carolina, Greensboro (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



From Norman Loftis's Introduction to Women in Love According to theologian and scholar C. S. Lewis, in his book The Allegory of Love , the history of romantic love dates back only to about the year 1000 A.D. Even if Lewis is just referencing the origins of true love as a tradition, it is still quite an extravagant claim. After all, we know from history, earlier literature, and even the Bible that the emotion we call love certainly existed as far back as we can document. Even certain animals, like some birds, mate for life, a fact that cannot be accounted for by reproductive instincts alone. Yet love, as portrayed in classical literature, is a very disruptive emotion, often linked, as it is in Hamlet , with madness. In earlier times, it would have been unthinkable, as it still is in some regions of the world even today, for one to marry just because one claimed to be in love. According to Lewis, the troubadours, medieval poets from southern France and northern Spain and Italy, began the process of validating romantic love. They went from castle to castle serenading the ladies of the place with poems that begged for "mercy" that their "suffering" might be eased. Italian poet Dante Alighieri was a great exponent of romantic love. In The Divine Comedy , Dante literally goes through Hell for Beatrice, the woman he loves. Then he goes through Purgatory and Heaven. At the end of this emotional and spiritual journey, the poet is rewarded with a vision of a blinding sun, symbolizing God and perfect understanding. It is not unfair to say that, after the appearance of The Divine Comedy , romantic love began to take on a new status in the Western world. It eventually became acceptable to marry on the basis of one's emotions for a particular person, though of course this did not happen overnight. The tradition of true love during Dante's time remained essentially an adulterous one. Dante never married Beatrice, and he himself was married to somebody else. Even three centuries later, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet were having a hard time of it, though thanks to an amiable priest who took pity on the young lovers, they succeeded in marrying. Predictably, they experienced tragedy afterward. Gradually, however, romantic love triumphed, and its influence remains very much intact to this day. This is not to say that everyone has been in perfect agreement with the progress of romantic love. During the twentieth century, in particular, some of the components of true love began to be called into question. Danish theologian Soren Kierkegaard, in his existentialist masterwork Either/Or , begins to question the sincerity of an eternal love. May it not, Kierkegaard enquired, be more sincere, instead of pledging to love your beloved forever and forever and forever, to vow to love her until Easter or May Day, and if that works out, to renew the vow until Christmas? In contemporary popular culture, Tina Turner takes this a step further by asking, in her wildly successful song, "What's Love Got Do with It?" However, this does not necessarily mean that true love has fallen from its pedestal but only that it has had to contend with certain heresies and palace uprisings. As with any tradition, things can become a bit stale. As Samuel Beckett put it, "Habit is a great deadener." D. H. Lawrence completed Women in Love in 1916, just about the time romantic love was getting a little frayed around the edges. There are several things that influenced Lawrence in writing this novel. One major factor was that Lawrence himself was very much in love. In 1912 he had met Frieda Weekley, then married to Ernest Weekley, Lawrence's former professor, to whom Lawrence had gone for help in finding a teaching position abroad. Lawrence and Frieda fell in love, and he convinced her to go away with him--for life. Another influence was England itself, which Lawrence found repressive, its traditions worn out, its emotional, spiritual, and political life stale and unedifying. There was yet another influence, which does not appear to be recorded, nor is it clear the extent to which Lawrence himself was aware of it. We know from Lawrence's friend Jessie Chambers that the two read Symbolist poetry together. When Lawrence was working for his teaching degree, he studied French literature at the University of Nottingham under Ernest Weekley. Lawrence mentions specifically the poetry of Paul Verlaine in Sons and Lovers . Nowhere, though, it seems, does Lawrence speak directly of the poetry of Arthur Rimbaud, and yet among all the Symbolists, it is Rimbaud's ideas that seem closest to those of Lawrence. Rimbaud wrote these lines, which coincide with Lawrence's attitude about modern love, particularly as it relates to his own writing of Women in Love : "I do not like women: love must be reinvented, that's obvious. A secure position is all they're capable of desiring now. Security once gained, heart and beauty are set aside: cold disdain alone is left, the food of marriage today" (Rimbaud, "Delirium I," p. 39; see "For Further Reading"). Women in Love is Lawrence's manifesto on the reinvention of modern love, and it was in many ways as much of a bombshell as was The Communist Manifesto , by Karl Marx. Afterward, there would be modern and contemporary writers who would rival Lawrence, but none who surpassed him in this area. F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby shows the undeniable influence of Lawrence in its treatment of the jaded rich, symbolized by Tom, and their dangerous ideas about race and culture, which are opposed by Gatsby, the symbol of romantic love. However, one could not imagine Gatsby questioning the meaning of modern love nor the tradition from which it sprang. Excerpted from Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. vii
Conclusionp. xxxvii
Note On The Textp. xxxix
Select Bibliographyp. xlii
A Chronology Of D. H. Lawrencep. xlv
Contents*p. 3
Chapter I Sistersp. 5
Chapter II Shortlandsp. 22
Chapter III Class-Roomp. 34
Chapter IV Diverp. 45
Chapter V in the Trainp. 52
Chapter VI Crème De Menthep. 62
Chapter VII Totemp. 78
Chapter VIII Breadalbyp. 84
Chapter IX Coal-Dustp. 113
Chapter X Sketch-Bookp. 122
Chapter XI an Islandp. 127
Chapter XII Carpetingp. 138
Chapter XIII Minop. 148
Chapter XIV Water-Partyp. 159
Chapter XV Sunday Eveningp. 197
Chapter XVI Man to Manp. 205
Chapter XVII the Industrial Magnatep. 218
Chapter XVIII Rabbitp. 242
Chapter XIX Moonyp. 253
Chapter XX Gladiatorialp. 276
Chapter XXI Thresholdp. 287
Chapter XXII Woman to Womanp. 302
Chapter XXIII Excursep. 313
Chapter XXIV Death and Lovep. 334
Chapter XXV Marriage or Notp. 364
Chapter XXVI a Chairp. 368
Chapter XXVII Flittingp. 379
Chapter XXVIII Gudrun in the Pompadourp. 396
Chapter XXIX Continentalp. 403
Chapter XXX Snowed Upp. 458
Chapter XXXI Exeuntp. 493
Explanatory Notesp. 501